The reform of the pension system: computations and conclusions

Mária Augusztinovics-Béla Martos

The article is a contribution to the dabate flaring up around the reform of the Hungarian pension system. It does not rely merely on verbal reasoning, but on computations performed with new methods. It analyses the particular features of the prevailing pension system and its predictable future path. Then it examines comparatively the targets to be set for the reform and the possible options. The conclusions are based on a thorough examination of the demographic, macroeconomic, public and individual factors.

Monetary policy: instruments and conditions

Imre Tarafás

The instruments of monetary policy have developed rapidly in Hungary in the past few years, from the most rudimentary direct tools to sophisticated open market operations. This rapid development reflected the gradual but quick pace of the banking reform and was in line with the general wave of liberalization and deregulation in the economy. In the coming years, the conditions under which monetary policy operates will be determined by a relatively high and fluctuating inflation, uncertainty in interest rate expectations on the one hand, and a strong inflow of financial capital resulting from high nominal interest rates, relative to exchange rate depreciation (itself a reflection of a substantial and sustained difference between consumer price inflation and producer price inflation) on the other. Monetary policy will be confronted with the need of sterilizing potentially massive inflows of capital in underdeveloped money and securities markets and a segmented market banking system. Returning to direct monetary instruments would probably aggravate problems; solution should be sought in adopting a credible anti­inflation program, including a credible exchange rate policy, and in making further liberalization depend on the success of such stabilization program.

Ronald Coase and the methodology of economics

László Szakadát

The author attempts to present the methodological views of Ronald Harry Coase. He makes perceptible that serious differences of oppinion can be found even within the Chicago school itself. The polemics between the two Nobel prize winner Chicago economists (Friedman and Coase) provide, in the author's opinion, an opportunity to draw the lessons from the views also represented by Coase in practice, as they may offer great help to the - mainly practical - economists in the transitional period of economics and society.

Strategic alliances and global oligopolies

Ferenc Vissi

Because of its system of relations and effects the subject of economic power has always jarred the fantasy of analysts. At the end of our century a concentration of unprecedented extent of intellectual forces, capitals and material resources is going on in the world. This globalisation shows that the concentrations transgress the frontiers of not only coutries but of economic and political regions as well. The world­wide competition among private firms, countries and regions is interwoven by two particular networks, to wit, that of strategic alliances and of global oligopolies. Initially, their spreading was stimulated and supported by individual governments or political forces. Today, however, these networks are becoming increasingly independent and are so powerful that they are spreading even without political support. The study sums up the essential criteria of these two new forms of competition, their most important forms of appearance and indicates the many kinds of - today mostly still unanswered - challenges and questions which arise in the context of these two new forms of competition.